What if Philip K. Dick wrote a story about the war between humans and vampires set in the near future? That is basically what Daybreakers is.
Set in 2019, Vampires have taken over the planet. 90 to 95% of the population are vamps and the remaining humans are being rounded up for food.
But with the blood supply running low and no blood substitute, vampires are suddenly scared that their immortality is in danger.
One renegade human named Elvis Cormac has figured out to turn vamps back into humans so he approaches Edward Dalton, a high level vampire hematologist about his cure.
Dalton is sympathetic to the human cause so he tries to give the vamps a new option.
The movie is bleak, preachy and well convoluted at times. But it is nice to see someone at least trying to find new ground in the vampire genre.
The role-reversal thing works and so does the struggle. What doesnt work is not for a moment do we feel any feeling what so ever for any vampire.
There are some overly dramatic scenes where we are supposed to shed a tear for the vampires and I just couldn’t muster a single one. Then there is the extra gory finale which is to say the least convoluted and tiresome.
I liked the performances from Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe who surprised me in just how capable they are.
It has been a while since I have seen actors like them step forward and carry a film like this.
Ethan Hawke hasn’t been this entertaining in years.
The reason I said it is in the spirit of Philip K Dick is that in all his stories made into films, the world was always bleak and unforgiving. Each story also has a heavy-handed morality message. Daybreakers has both those elements and you could say it has a lot in common with Blade Runner. Can you imagine Blade Runner if the film had the roles reversed? How would the film be different? How would it be the same? What if Roy Batty won? It is a very interesting thought.
Okay, I give Daybreakers points for originality and casting of the lead actors. But I can’t say I enjoyed the film or felt connected to it in any way. The movie felt as soulless as the vamp parasites in the film. It lacked a grounding or a sense of humor that this kind of heavy story needs.
2.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer